22 Jun 2011

Composer of the Week – Jacques Offenbach

Happy Birthday to German/French composer Jacques Offenbach, who was born the 20th of June, 1819. Offenbach was born Jacob, but he changed his name to Jacques once he moved to Paris in his teenage years to study at the Paris Conservatory.

Offenbach was primarily an operetta composer, and his operettas were extremely popular, filled with parodies of the grand operas, and cultural and political satire of the day. He was very fond of his adopted country, but had a great deal of trouble during the Franco-Prussian war, and for the rest of his life. The French media accused him of being a sympathizer with Germany, and the German media considered him a traitor.

Perhaps his most famous work is from an early operetta – The Infernal Galop (or Can-Can) from Orpheus in the Underworld.


Barcarolle from The Tales of Hoffman.